Brace for the Golden Age of Content Marketing

This isn’t the golden age of TV anymore. Gone are the days where the “big three” channels held a captive audience for advertising. This is now the golden age of a million channels, where consumers are skipping the ads and rotating attention between the TV and the mobile device in their hand.

In the next golden age of advertising, advertisers won’t just be the interruption. They will be the featured event, if they want any attention at all. That’s why a recent study reports nearly a quarter of advertisers are budgeting half of their advertising dollars toward content marketing in 2015 (Contently, 2014 study of 601 marketers). An eMarketer study projects a 34% increase in “native advertising” next year alone.

But, what will it look like? And, how will we all compete in this new age of media?

The new competition is ANYTHING
Advertisers used to compete with other advertisers. Now, anything that distracts from your next sale is your competition. Anything. Any small piece of content on LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, a mobile app or a competitor’s website is your competition. It all competes for your consumer’s attention. Effective advertising reach is no longer our right to be purchased. Mass media is overly priced for most advertisers and paid media is slipping or “skipping” from our grasp. It’s all becoming earned media now.

The bar has been raised on what we call “COMPELLING”
An ocean of highly engaging content is aimed at your listeners. The noise of it shouts louder than you could ever shout. It all compels your audience to ignore you. Maybe your consumer’s attention was stolen by a music video that “broke” Youtube, or maybe by this obscure blog about content marketing that you are currently reading. The bar is high. If your content isn’t more entertaining than the post with 50 million likes, then your content will get missed. Lost. Wasted. At DBA, we are even building partnerships for premium Hollywood content from Disney, Fox and Warner, just so our brands can compete.

…Or, go home. Without a steady stream of content, consumer interest runs dry. AdAge wrote an article about how companies that are performing at the highest levels are not skimping out on the amount of content being generated. I find it funny that AdAge implies this emerging media phenomenon is small when it already represents a quarter of all advertising dollars. Would you call 25% of your budget “small?” Marketers know they won’t win this game by lobbing 5% of their media budget at content marketing. It will take a significant investment to meet the quality and quantity demand that the consumer has an appetite to consume. According to the article, 23% of advertisers have already joined the revolution with half their budget. Have you?

Your turn: Do you know your company’s content marketing strategy? Are you increasing your content marketing budget with the industry or below it (The average Fortune 500 brand will spend between 26% and 50%, according to Contently)? Does your company invest in providing its customers with compelling value through content, or does it merely create ads that depend on a captive audience through traditional paid media? Did you enjoy reading your competition?